Thunder broadcaster suspended for 'cotton-picking' comment about Russell Westbrook


Usual radio play-by-play man Matt Pinto will call the Thunder's first game of the Western Conference playoffs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET against the Jazz on FOX Sports Oklahoma.

Legendary television and radio host Larry King weighed in on the controversy surrounding National Basketball Association commentator Brian Davis, and his statement made about Russell Westbrook being out of his "cotton-pickin' mind".

"Russell looking for Ferguson in the corner for three - bang!' Davis exclaimed". "'Cotton-picking mind' was probably an adjective, he got a triple-double again...Russell Westbrook is an incredible player, and I would take it as a compliment".

The adjective "cotton-picking" has roots in the American South and has historically been used as a synonym for "damned".

Mahoney added that he wasn't sure if Davis, who is a full-time employee of the team, would apologize for his comments in a future broadcast.

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"We find the term used by Brian Davis on our broadcast last night to be highly inappropriate and offensive".

That created just a ton of controversy on Twitter, as that particular phrase has spurred debate forever about if it's a racial insult given the history of slavery and cotton farming in the USA, a general shot at farmhands regardless of color, or a folksy tie to Bugs Bunny and more.

"Brian assures me that it was not meant in any derogatory way, and he apologizes", Mahoney told the newspaper. "But again, we feel strongly that it's inappropriate and offensive". Management recognized the commentary was vile, and even though it likely wasn't his intention to be as much, they spoke to the announcer to express their displeasure with him using the term.

Still, more can be done.